Optimism is faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence. ... No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to unchartered land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirt.
Helen Keller

What is optimism?

Optimism is commonly thought of as being a rather trivial attribute. An optimist is widely thought of as someone who sees the silver lining in every cloud and views the world through rose-tinted spectacles (or a glass that?s always half full).

The advantages of optimism

Research supports the theory that being optimistic has many benefits, and that being pessimistic has many costs, on a persons overall quality of life.

Why optimism matters

More than 100 studies have been conducted to measure the impact of optimism and pessimism on people's lives.

Optimism in children

Learning to be optimistic

Research into twins reveals that somewhere between 25% to 50% of our key personality traits are passed on to us by our parents.

The power of pessimism

Being overly-optimistic can lead to disaster. Convinced that the Titanic was unsinkable, Captain Edward J Smith ignored three warnings on April 15th 1912 that he was steaming straight into major ice-sheets.

Flexible optimism

Research has shown that being optimistic is beneficial and can be fun, but also that there are limitations in it's power.

Defensive pessimism

When faced with adversity, Pollyanna?s strategy was to always look on the bright side. But some people just can?t do that. No matter how hard they try, they tend to see things through disaster-tinted spectacles. We can now identify these people as ?defensive pessimists?.

Optimism and culture

Firstly, taking a cautious and negative view of life served an important evolutionary purpose.